Indirect Treatment Comparison of Biologics in Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract. 2021 Jun;9(6):2461-2471.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.jaip.2021.01.031. Epub 2021 Feb 4.


Background: Among patients with chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP), randomized clinical trials (RCTs) of biologics, such as anti-interleukin-4/interleukin-13 (dupilumab) and anti-immunoglobulin E (omalizumab), have demonstrated efficacy compared with intranasal corticosteroids (INCS). However, no head-to-head RCTs exist between biologics.

Objective: To perform an indirect treatment comparison (ITC) of the efficacy of biologics plus INCS versus placebo (INCS) as a common comparator.

Methods: Embase, MEDLINE, and Cochrane were searched for RCTs of biologics in CRSwNP. Bucher ITCs were performed for outcomes at week 24: nasal polyp score (NPS) (range, 0-8), nasal congestion (NC) (range, 0-3), loss of smell (range, 0-3), University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (range, 0-40), total symptom score (range, 0-12), 22-item sinonasal outcome test (range, 0-110), and responder analyses based on NPS or NC improvement of 1 point or greater.

Results: Assessment of trial design, baseline characteristics, and outcome measures suggested that ITC was feasible with four phase 3 RCTs: dupilumab SINUS-24 and SINUS-52 (NCT02912468/NCT02898454) and omalizumab POLYP 1 and POLYP 2 (NCT03280550/NCT03280537). In the intent-to-treat population, dupilumab had significantly greater improvements from baseline to week 24 versus omalizumab across key outcomes: NPS (least squares mean difference [95% confidence interval], -1.04 [-1.63 to -0.44]), NC (-0.35 [-0.60 to -0.11]), loss of smell (-0.66 [-0.90 to -0.42]), University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test (6.70 [4.67-8.73]), and total symptom score (-1.18 [-1.95 to -0.41]). Improvement in the 22-item sinonasal outcome test was greater in dupilumab versus omalizumab but was not statistically significant. Dupilumab patients were significantly more likely to achieve ≥1-point improvement in NPS (odds ratio [95% CI] = 3.58 [1.82-7.04]) and NC (2.13 [1.12-4.04]) versus omalizumab.

Conclusions: Although ITCs have limitations, these results demonstrated that dupilumab had consistently greater improvements in key CRSwNP outcomes versus omalizumab at week 24.

Keywords: CRSwNP; Dupilumab; Indirect treatment comparison; Omalizumab.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products* / therapeutic use
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Nasal Polyps* / drug therapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinitis* / drug therapy
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biological Products

Associated data